Published on April 21st, 2019 |
by Sebastian Blanco
April 21st, 2019 by Sebastian Blanco
There seemed to be too many shiny cleantech highlights from the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show (aka Auto Shanghai 2019) to stuff into one article. So, following up on the article published earlier this evening, here’s another piece highlighting other goodies from the show.
In a twist, the American company Karma was making its first appearance at the Shanghai show as part of its upcoming entry into that market. Karma brought three vehicles. Most striking was the fantastical SC1 concept, which was meant to showcase what the company’s future might look like, scissor doors and all.
Next was a version of the company’s only model, the Revero, but gussied up by Pininfarina to expand on Karma’s design language.
The last one was the new Revero GT, which is the only one destined for production. Karma said it is taking orders for the new Revero GT now in China and hopes to deliver the first examples there by 2021.
The Revero, of course, uses a powertrain similar to the one originally in the Fisker Karma, which it is based on. The new Revero GT will use a BMW engine as its range extender. More important, though, is the all-electric powertrain in the SC1, which is a sign that the company knows that the future is electric. CEO Lance Zhou told me that Karma will, indeed, offer an all-electric model some time down the road.
NIO brought a new all-electric concept to the show, but very little in the way of actual information. The ET Preview is a preview of the company’s first sedan, but as far as technical details we know very little. Electric motors on both the front and rear axle are logical, given the powertrain the company uses in its other vehicles, as is a range of at least 250 miles. ET is the naming system that NIO will use for its upcoming sedan line, similar to the way its SUVs are all “ES” models (currently, the ES6 and ES8).
Even though the powertrain details are still under wraps, the exterior looks good. It’s easy to see some Model S touches and the fastback slope and clean lines make me want to see the production version sooner rather than later.
Hyundai saved its big reveal this week for the New York Auto Show, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t something interesting happening in its Shanghai display as well. In the corner of the company’s booth was the Nexo Air Purification chamber. Given the smog-ridden air that pervades many of China’s larger cities, having a vehicle that can actually emit air that’s learning that what goes into the air filters is a pretty big selling point. To make it obvious what was going on, Hyundai had clear tubes pumping dirty air into a Nexo (all behind glass, to avoid dirtying up the air in the convention center), running it through the hydrogen fuel cell car, and then hooking up another clear tube to the tailpipe. Unsurprisingly, the air here was clean as can be.
Small electric vehicles are a hallmark of the Chinese auto industry these days, and the Zedriv booth delivered colorful examples in spades. Bright orange examples of the GC1 and GC2 were on hand, along with a sleek greenish-purple GT3 on stage. The GT3 is a concept that steals more than a little from Porsche in its design, just scrunched down a little. It has a 98 kW electric motor that produces 129 foot-pounds of torque. With a weight of 1,150 kilograms (2,535 pounds), that could present a fun little package.
The GC1and GC2 have NEDC ranges of 320 kilometers (200 miles); the GT3 gets by on just 260 km (160 miles), and its good looks.